Say "Yes" to Recess: 7 Reasons Why Your Child Needs Physical Activity by Rae Pica
Too many are saying "no" to recess. According to the American Association for the Child's Right to Play, 40 percent of U.S. elementary schools have eliminated recess, often citing a need to focus on academics and test prep as the excuse. That might be reasonable if standards and tests were all that mattered in a child's education, children consisted of heads only and research didn't confirm that children can't afford not to have recess. Here are seven contradictions to the belief that recess is a frill:
- Everyone benefits from a break. As far back as 1885, the research is quite clear on this.
- Recess increases on-task time. Dr. Olga Jarrett's study demonstrated that a 15-minute recess resulted in children being 5 percent more on task and 9 percent less fidgety, resulting in 20 minutes saved during the day.
- Children need outside light. It stimulates the pineal gland, regulating the biological clock, is vital to the immune system, triggers vitamin D and makes us feel better!
- Physical activity provides "brain food": water, oxygen and glucose.
- Unstructured play reduces stress.
- Children need to learn to be social creatures.
- Our children's health is at risk, in large part due to sedentary lifestyles.
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